Airline defends claim there's no chance of survival on MH370

THE head of Malaysia Airlines has defended the company's decision to tell families of those on board the doomed MH370 flight there was no chance of their loved-ones being alive.

Chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said there were almost 1000 people who had to be contacted ahead of the news being published by international media.

"Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did," Mr Yahya said.

Where it was "humanly possible", the executive said Malaysia Airlines spoke to families either in person or by telephone.

Mr Yahya said the company has been supplying accommodation, food, expenses and transport for up to five family members per passenger on board MH370 since March 8 - arrangements that would continue.

Malaysia Airlines has also paid $5000 to the next of kin of passengers, although more payments were likely to be made as the search continues.

Earlier, Air Marshal Mark Binskin told reporters in Perth said the search area off Western Australia was being "continually refined" as new data arrived from international counterparts.

When asked how he could be so sure the plane went down about 2500km south-west of Perth, Air Marshal Binskin said it was based on "the best information we have".

He offered thanks to those countries also involved in the search, adding that HMAS Success was now grappling with high seas in the southern Indian Ocean.

It would be given air support in the search once weather conditions improve.


Flight MH370 drama 'something out of Bermuda Triangle'

THE disappearance and destruction of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is "something right out of the Bermuda Triangle", according to an Australian aviation expert, although he expects answers to come eventually.

Central Queensland University head of aviation Ron Bishop - and veteran of Operation Desert Storm - compared the loss of the Boeing 777 to the crashing of Air France's Airbus A330 in mid-2009.

It took almost two years for black box to be recovered from the ocean floor.

Mr Bishop said with the amount of resources being pumped into the search by so many nations, it was inevitable that some debris will be found.

That, he said, would be enough to start finding answers.

"We can tell a lot of stuff just by finding pieces," he said.

"Let's say we find a piece of the aircraft - (investigators) will be able to tell if there was an explosion.

"If there was no explosion, that already knocks out about 10 theories.

He said investigators will eventually know what happened with 99% certainty.

The comments come as the Australian Marine Safety Authority called off the hunt for wreckage in the southern Indian Ocean on Tuesday due to bad weather.

Overnight, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said new data from British firm Inmarsat showed the plane went down in the freezing waters about 2500km south-west of Perth.

Officials with Malaysia Airlines had just moments earlier told families to "assume beyond any reasonable doubt" that there would be no survivors.

Late on Monday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Royal Australian Air Force's P3 Orion had spotted "a grey or green circular object and a second orange rectangular object".

It was to be retrieved by the HMAS Success.                                                   

The Prime Minister said it was not yet clear if this was wreckage from the MH370, describing the entire MH370 saga as "an absolutely baffling mystery".

The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on March 8.




Hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 called off for day

UPDATE:  The hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been called off for the day due to bad weather conditions.

In a statement the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) says the search area is forecast to experience strong gale force winds of up to 80km/h, periods of heavy rain, and low cloud with a ceiling between 200 and 500 feet.

It says that could make for hazardous conditions for search crews.

AMSA has consulted with the Bureau of Meteorology and weather conditions are expected to improve in the search area in the evening and over the next few days. Search operations are expected to resume tomorrow, if weather conditions permit.

Teams searching for wreckage from missing flight MH370 had been expected to pinpoint objects spotted by an Australian crew, as new satellite analysis confirmed the Malaysia Airlines plane had plunged into the southern Indian Ocean.

Flight 370: The news no-one wanted to hear

THE missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 came down in the middle of the Indian Ocean and it is "beyond doubt" that there were no survivors, the Malaysian government says.

Speaking at an emergency press conference called in Malaysia early Tuesday, Prime Minister Najib Razak said: "Based on new analysis we have concluded [the jet] flew along southern corridor and that its last position was in the middle of Indian Ocean west of Perth.

"This is a remote location far from any possible landing site.

"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform that in accordance with this new data Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

Moments earlier, officials from Malaysia Airlines sent an SMS text message to the families of the passengers on board when the plane was lost which said: "We must now accept all evidence suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean".

"Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived," the message read.

Mr Najib said he had been briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), which informed him that satellite data from the UK company Inmarsat, using techniques "never before used in an investigation of this sort", revealed the final position of the plane.

"Malaysia Airlines has already spoken to the family of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development," Mr Najib said.

"For them the past few weeks have been heartbreaking. I know this news must be hard as well."

Speaking on the fifth day of the international search effort focused in an area around 2,000km west of the Australian coast, the Malaysian prime minister made no reference to debris spotted in the southern Indian Ocean, with several grey or green, white and orange objects spotted in the search area now identified as the region where the jet came down.

Earlier, the Malaysia transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, said that an Australian naval ship could locate possible debris within hours.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) confirmed that the HMAS Success had made its way out to the remote search area some 2,500km from Perth, and that the objects were seen within the stretch of water being scoured today.

"HMAS Success is on scene and is attempting to locate and recover these objects," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a statement to parliament.

So far, ships in the search effort have been unable to locate several "suspicious" objects spotted by satellites in grainy images or by fast-flying aircraft over a vast search area in the remote southern Indian Ocean.

Earlier on Monday spotters on a Chinese plane said they had seen two white, square-shaped objects in the southern Indian Ocean, at that stage the second possible sighting of plane debris made with the naked eye in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.

Spotters aboard that search plane reported the coordinates to a Chinese icebreaker ship, Xue Long, which was making its way to the area - as well as to the central Australian command centre.

In addition to the two larger floating objects, the searchers also reported seeing a range of smaller, white debris scattered over several square miles, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

The sightings were all made in the area identified in previous satellite images from Australia and China.

The developments came as the US prepared to send a specialised device that can locate black boxes into the region.

The full statement from Malaysia Airlines

The full statement from Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak made in Kuala Lumpur at 1am Sydney time:

"This evening I was briefed by representatives from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB). They informed me that Inmarsat, the UK company that provided the satellite data which indicated the northern and southern corridors, has been performing further calculations on the data. Using a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort, they have been able to shed more light on MH370's flight path.

Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB have concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

This is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites. It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

We will be holding a press conference tomorrow with further details. In the meantime, we wanted to inform you of this new development at the earliest opportunity. We share this information out of a commitment to openness and respect for the families, two principles which have guided this investigation.

Malaysia Airlines have already spoken to the families of the passengers and crew to inform them of this development. For them, the past few weeks have been heartbreaking; I know this news must be harder still. I urge the media to respect their privacy, and to allow them the space they need at this difficult time."

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